Centrum’s Bottleneck Slide Weekend

Workshop: January 31–February 3, 2008
Concert: 7:30pm, February 2, 2008

Join Mike Dowling, Steve James, and Centrum’s Artistic Director for Slide and Steel, Orville Johnson (pictured left), for a weekend gathering celebrating one of the most expressive and tuneful sounds ever conceived! The weekend will include workshop sessions, faculty demonstrations, tutorials, and open jams.

Participants for this gathering must have a basic technical command of their instrument(s) and a basic knowledge of music theory. “Differing levels of ability are expected, and the classes are designed to accommodate these differences,” says program manager Peter McCracken.

As part of the workshop, participants will also receive free admission to the February 2 public evening performance in the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater.

  • For Workshop Registration, call Centrum at 360.385.3102 x114 or register securely online.
    $550 includes all meals and lodging.
  • For Concert Tickets, call Centrum at 360-385-3102 x117.


In 1995, Mike Dowling launched his solo performance career with the release of the critically acclaimed Swamp Dog Blues. Dowling’s engaging voice, self-deprecating wit, and arsenal of elegant interpretations of old blues are well known—as is the quality of tone he produces when he lays a slide on a string.

Steve James is known internationally for his playing, songcraft, and original approach to the roots music he’s heard since childhood. A workshop veteran, Steve has published numerous articles and books, as well as instructional DVDs. His studio work, both solo and in support of other artists, has earned him many accolades, including Grammy nominations.

Orville Johnson, the Artistic Director of Slide and Steel, came up in the St. Louis music scene, where he participated in a wide variety of blues, bluegrass, and American roots music. He moved to Seattle in 1978, where he was a founding member of the folk/rock group the Dynamic Logs. Johnson has played on over one hundred albums and released four recordings.